(NaturalNews) As many areas of the country perspire their way through record-breaking summer heat, staying hydrated is of the essence, as is keeping your body nourished with life-giving, health-promoting superfoods. And since warm and hot foods are not always desirable during this time of year, here are a few "cool" superfood ideas to help you beat the heat and nurture your palate.
Cucumbers - Fibrous and mostly composed of water, the cucumber is one of the most effective "cooling" foods as its juice helps to lower body temperature. Cucumber seeds also contain cucurbitin, an amino acid, linoleic acid, and various other fatty acids that soothe the body both internally and externally. Try slicing some cucumbers for breakfast, or making a cucumber sandwich for lunch -- you might be surprised at how healthy you feel.
Melons - Gently sweet and refreshingly succulent, watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe are among the most popular summertime melons. Each one is composed of roughly 95 percent water, and about five percent natural fruit sugar. Melons are also rich in varying levels of vital enzymes, vitamins and minerals, and electrolytes, which make them an ideal food for replenishing the water and nutrients lost while sweating on those hot summer days.
Strawberries - An iconic summertime treat, the strawberry is refreshing, nutritious, and delicious. The fruit, which is a member of the rose family, is high in vitamin C, the trace mineral manganese, antioxidants, and various other nutrients and enzymes that promote good health. Just be sure to buy pesticide-free or organic strawberries rather than conventional, as the latter tend to be among the most toxic when it comes to chemical contamination.
Radishes - You may not necessarily think of them as an ideal summertime treat, but radishes are actually an excellent addition to your healthy, summertime diet. A powerful cleansing vegetable, the radish is both pungent and sweet, depending on the variety, and can be eaten raw, or added to salads or gazpachos. You can also throw some radishes into a pilaf or cucumber salad for a tasty, filling snack that will help stimulate healthy digestion and promote healthy liver and gallbladder function.
Mint - There are so many unique ways to use mint, particularly when it comes to summertime beverages and light fare, that a quick snippet on this healing herb hardly does it justice. But it is worth mentioning, as mint can be added to tea, lemonade, vegetables salads, marinades, smoothies, sorbets, and cocktails. Rich in fiber, iron, copper, calcium, folic acid, and omega-3 fatty acid concentrates, mint not only livens up food and beverages, but it also calms intestinal inflammation and fights harmful bacteria.
Chia seeds - Popularized by the well-known television infomercial for the pet by the same name, chia is a hydrating, rejuvenating, and lubricating superfood seed that provides lasting energy and sustained vigor, even during the heat of the day. Try adding soaked or gelled chia seeds to things like smoothies, juices, breakfast cereals, and salads to up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, and ease inflammation throughout your body.